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JAIPUR/NEW DELHI: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot called a cabinet meeting at his residence on Tuesday to review the state’s Covid-19 and financial situation in the state but sources said the cabinet discussed the present political crisis too and gave nod for calling a special session of the state Assembly to pre-empt the Opposition’s alleged moves to topple the government.
This came even as the Rajasthan high court completed hearing on the joint petition by Sachin Pilot’s camp, challenging the speaker’s disqualification notices but reserved its decision till July 24.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty “requested” the speaker not to act on the notices till its order on Friday. Soon, the speaker’s office issued a statement that action on notices to the 19 MLAs has been suspended considering “judicial propriety and dignity”.
Sources said the CM too would wait until the high court’s judgment on Friday before requesting governor Kalraj Mishra to call the special session of the Assembly.
But Congress may challenge the high court’s “request” to the Speaker not to take action on disqualification notices, calling it a violation of the presiding officer’s powers. Well-placed sources said after discussions with legal eagles, the party has come to the conclusion that the court’s view would be an encroachment on the “supreme and autonomous” powers of the Speaker.
According to a source, the party may file a petition as early as Wednesday to urge the high court to review its stance. The deadline for reply expired on Tuesday. The decision to approach the court may also have been prompted by concerns that the time till Friday will help the dissidents mobilise support while the ruling camp is keen on quick action.
One of the options the Gehlot government was considering was to bring a bill during the special Assembly session and issuing whip to its MLAs.
The government needs to seek Assembly approval for the Rajasthan epidemic diseases ordinance 2020 that it notified in May. A whip would make it mandatory for the rebels to attend the proceedings or face disqualification. “The government would prefer to see the dissident MLAs disqualified before going for a trust vote because it rests on a thin majority at present,” said a Congress strategist.
Earlier in the day, Gehlot addressed a Congress Legislature Party meeting and said the party’s government in Rajasthan would complete its full term despite all challenges.

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